Kenya could be forced to import milk from other countries such as the United States of America to bridge the gap that has been occasioned by a constant fall in production since the beginning of 2020.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya says that the amount of formerly marketed milk was reduced from 63.4 million liters in January 2020 to 40.2 million liters in June 2020 leaving a huge demand with low supply.
Munya challenged the local daily farmers to step up the efforts in the production of the milk in order to meet the prevailing high demand as the country continues to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus.
“We want to assure the stakeholders in this critical sector that we will continue to ensure that compliance with the law as regards to the illegal importation of milk will be strictly reinforced,” said the CS.
The announcement that there is a shortage of milk supply in the country and plans to be in place to import comes barely a month after dairy farmers in the United States pushed to be allowed to bring their milk into the country without restrictions.
In the trade talks that are still ongoing, the Us dairy farmers want unfettered access of their milk products to the Kenyan Market in the proposed free trade agreement between Nairobi and Washington, which could have far-reaching implications on Kenya’s milk farmers.
The two countries recognize that an agreement between them has the potential to serve as a model for additional agreement across Africa including with other EAC partner states.
According to the IDFA president and CEO Michael Dykes, currently, Kenya maintains its highest tariffs on a range of agricultural products, including dairy at an average of over 50 percent because it considers dairy to be sensitive products and uses to stabilize domestic prices.
Kenya recently introduced a 10 percent import levy on dairy products to protect the local industry from unfair competition.